Discovering that a spouse has been cheating is a huge stressor in a marriage. But can a marriage be annulled over a spouse carrying on an extramarital affair? Here’s an answer to this frequently asked question.
Would it be possible to have my marriage annulled since I found out my spouse cheated on me? We have only been married for three months. I have no idea if the affair pre-dates our wedding.
When sudden and severe problems erupt in a marriage, such as adultery, wondering if an annulment is appropriate is a common reaction.
It is easiest to understand what an annulment is by contrasting it with a divorce. While both annulment and divorce dissolve a marriage and allow both spouses to return to their single status, where they once again have the ability to remarry, there are certain differences in how the two legal processes treat the marriage. An annulment cancels a marriage in such a way that it is completely and legally erased. Annulling a marriage means that it was never valid, and therefore, never existed. A divorce, on the other hand, still recognizes the couple as once married. In a divorce, you go through a process where you divide your marital assets and can pursue alimony as needed. Annulment does not offer this same process.
Annulments are a bit harder to obtain than a divorce, and in order for your marriage to be annulled, you must prove to the court that you have valid grounds to be annulled.
Is cheating one of these grounds? In most cases, the answer is usually no, finding out your spouse is cheating on you is usually not grounds for an annulment. But there can be some nuance to this if certain extenuating circumstances are present. For example, did your husband hide the fact before your marriage that his cheating partner was pregnant with his child or already had a child with him? Or, did you discover that your spouse was secretly married to his paramour? These types of untruths and misrepresentation of facts related to your decision to be married can be reasonable grounds for annulment.
Learn more about grounds for annulment.
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